Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dining Narrative: International Eradicating Hunger Day

In 2015 the first of the United Nations mandated eradicating hunger days has arrived, and one group of friends and family is gathering in one of the satellite dining spaces around the country that is equipped with the necessary social media devices to connect with people of all different countries in order to share a meal together.  This dinner party of ten will be dining in a pent house apartment overlooking New York City.  As the group enters the dining space, they are seated on a tufted banquette along with Louis XV ghost chairs that are illuminated in warm light to commemorate the summer solstice. The seating is situated around a ten-foot long, 3½-foot wide modern rectangular glass table. Above the table a dramatic crystal chandelier hangs that has the appearance of water droplets falling over the table; this is also illuminated in warm LED lighting. The place settings show each guest at the table what nationality the person whom they will be dining with via web chat; the India setting has no silverware, the China setting has chopsticks, etc. and each setting has the flag of their designated guest country on the plate. The guests are seated comfortably with four on the banquette, two at the heads of the table, and four in chairs along the side. As the party sits, a screen rises up from the center of the table and their international cyber guests greet them. After the introduction, the server brings the food in several courses, with dishes from every country represented at the table. A built in sideboard allows a place for serving platters. Above the sideboard is a mirror with a map of the earth cut into it, which reflects the chandelier on the table. Now that each of the guests of the pent house have conversed with a member of a different country, they exit onto the balcony for coffee and conversation about their experiences at an international dinner, some perhaps still sharing views of New York with their dinner partners via laptops. A firework show brings the end to the cultural celebration.

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